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The Uneasy Relationship Between Mental Illness and Comedy

I had to take a Xanax to write this article. My anxiety makes it hard to start; my depression and self-doubt make it hard to come to any conclusion. And so, in classic neurotic fashion, I begin with skepticism:

“Are you SERIOUS?" Marc Maron asked me, presumably rhetorically, upon hearing my reason for calling him. I don’t think he was trying to be mean. It seemed like genuine disbelief.

I told him that I was. That I believed — in the face of countless evidence to the contrary — that mental illness was an obstacle to good comedy and not a tool for its deployment. That there exists a [...]